Applying for SAT Testing Accommodations

The SAT tries to even the playing field for students with documented disabilities by providing a variety of SAT testing accommodations. The most common one is extended time (or extra time), but there are many others to fit the needs of every student. If you may be eligible for SAT accommodations, it’s important to make sure you know what the process for applying for these looks like and what to expect.

Possible SAT accommodations

The College Board grants SAT testing accommodations to students with documented disabilities which impact their ability to take the test. Let’s break down what that means.

  • If you have a documented disability such as a learning disorder or visual, medical, physical, or motor disorder, among others, you may be eligible to receive accommodations.
  • Beyond having a disability, you must have documentation demonstrating that your disability will impact your ability to take the standard administration of the SAT.
  • Lastly, you have to demonstrate that you actually need the applied-for accommodations. A lot of the time, having similar accommodations at school is helpful and/or necessary.

If you are deemed eligible for an accommodation, the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) will determine exactly which accommodations they consider to be necessary. Some common ones include:

  • 50% extended time (time and a half)
  • 100% extended time (double time)
  • Extra and/or extended breaks
  • Use of a computer for the essay portion
  • Braille or large-print exams

How to apply for SAT test accommodations

Most students have their school help them apply for accommodations. This is usually the easiest option, as your school guidance counselor (or other SSD Coordinator) may already have experience applying for SAT accommodations, may know you and your circumstances well, and may already have all required documentation on hand. If you apply through your school, here are the steps you will take:

  • Your SSD Coordinator gains access to SSD Online.
  • Your parent or guardian provides consent for the SSD Coordinator to apply for accommodations on your behalf.
  • Your SSD Coordinator requests accommodations.
  • If necessary, your SSD Coordinator provides documentation.
  • SSD reviews all information, comes to a decision, and then notifies you and your SSD accordingly.

A few things to note

It is incredibly important that you apply for SAT accommodations early. The College Board website states that decisions may take up to a full 7 weeks after all documentation has been received. If you need to submit additional documentation or another accommodations request, you may require another 7 weeks before receiving your decision. You can view a calendar with accommodation deadlines here.

If you have already applied for and received accommodations for another test through the College Board (such as the PSAT or AP Test), you may not need to request additional accommodations unless your situation has changed.

If you have any questions or concerns about any step of this process, I would always advise that you reach out to the College Board’s SSD directly.

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